Is Thanksgiving being practiced in the Philippines?
While many would say that this holiday is only observed in other countries like Canada and the United States, some Filipinos actually celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, Liberia, the United States and some of the Caribbean islands, which started as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the following year. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving Day every second Monday of October while the United States and other places celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November.
The Thanksgiving Day is considered the most important holiday in the United States ever since the first colonist from Europe landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts during the 17th Century. During this day, Americans prepare a feast for their families, friends and relatives to share. It usually includes turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, corn, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pies.
With the Filipinos and Americans sharing part of history and culture when the Philippines was colonized by the Americans from 1898 to 1946, the practice of celebrating Thanksgiving Day was introduced.
However, while Americans celebrate this every fourth Thursday of November, Filipinos actually hold Thanksgiving or “Pasasalamat” whenever there is an important milestone like passing a professional exam, graduation, recovering from illness, homecoming or owning a new home and many more.
Thanksgiving is observed by Filipinos, first, by offering prayer of thanks to the Lord and then celebrate it with a sumptuous feast carefully prepared for their visitors, mostly close friends and families.Also, while roasted turkey is the main dish that Americans serve for Thanksgiving Day, Filipinos do it with our world-famous roasted pig or more popularly known as lechon, because as they say, a party in the Philippines is never complete without the lechon.
With the continued good relationship between the Philippines and America, there are families in the Philippines who really celebrate Thanksgiving Dayevery fourth Thursday of November, especially those who had experienced the celebration while living abroad or those who are married to Americans.
Also, some American companies with offices in the Philippines also observe the Thanksgiving Day by declaring it a regular holiday making Filipinos more aware of the celebration.
Every milestone that we reach and the blessings that we have received are always good reasons to be grateful for and Thanksgiving Day is a good excuse to share this good fortune to those closest to our hearts.
Tangke Talisay, Cebu